Articles on Islam

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Twentieth-century depiction of a victorious Saladin with Guy de Lusignan after battle of Hattin in 1187. Said Tahsine (1904-1985 Syria) -

Understanding the Crusades from an Islamic perspective

The Crusades have been stereotyped, creating a narrative that supports both Islamophobia and anti-immigrant sentiments in the West, as well as "Westophobia" and paranoia in the Muslim world.
More than 250,000 people took to the streets in a 2016 protest organised by hardline Muslim groups against Jakarta’s Christian mayor. Lauren Farrow/AAP

Is Indonesia retreating from democracy?

Indonesia has long been held up as a model of democratic transition in the Muslim world. This view of the country now needs rethinking.
The Wedding Feast at Cana, Paolo Veronese, 1563. Wikimedia

Is religion bad for democracy?

Our work on the International Panel for Social Progress has led us to conclude that religion is neither inherently pro-democracy nor inherently anti-democracy.
Under a canopy of Turkish flags, supporters of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) attend an election rally in Gaziantep, eastern Turkey. Presidency Press Service via AP, Pool

Nationalism and piety dominate Turkey’s election

Turkey's snap election is on Sunday. One fact is clear: The candidates and electorate are both nationalist and pious. That's in contrast to the strict secularism of 20th century politics.
A mourner reads a sympathy card left for Anthony Bourdain at a makeshift memorial in New York. AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Why religions of the world condemn suicide

Most religions have a fundamental belief that all human life belongs to God.
President Donald Trump sits down for an iftar dinner, in the State Dining Room of the White House. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Why Jefferson’s vision of American Islam matters today

As President Trump resumes an annual tradition of celebrating Ramadan, it provides a moment to remember that Islam has long been practiced in America.
A Muslim family breaks fast during the month of Ramadan. AP Photo/Chris Carlson

What are halal foods?

Food plays an integral role during the 30-day period of Ramadan. This Speed Read explains how Muslims determine what foods are 'halal,' an Arabic word that means 'permissible.'
Mural in Karachi. Pakistan multiple identities cannot be reduced to religious fanaticism. Wasif Malik/Flickr

Pakistan’s quest for identity: contesting Islam

Pakistan has often been misunderstood to be exclusively built upon a national Islamic identity, ignoring the multiculturality and divisive role of Islam in the definition of its national identity.
Children at a Koranic school in Mombasa, Kenya. Michał Huniewicz/Flickr

Arab-Islamic education in Sub-Saharan Africa: going beyond clichés to build the future

In Sub-Saharan Africa, Arab-Islamic education is neither a limited nor recent phenomena. While poorly understood, it remains a fundamental part of the educational development of the region.
Punk Muslim members from Surabaya and Jakarta gather together for their event ‘Ngobrol Bareng Punk Muslim’ in Jakarta on January 15 2017. Hikmawan Saefullah

Punks are not dead in Indonesia, they’ve turned to Islam

The emergence of the Islamic movement in the Indonesian underground music scene has drawn a lot of people’s attention. What factors are driving the underground youths, especially punks, to religion?
The term ‘Leb’ embodies hyper-masculinity on the street. Generic image from Shutterstock.com

What does a ‘Leb’ look like?

Michael Mohammed Ahmad's novel The Lebs is a realistic portrayal of teenage boys in Western Sydney.

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